Multiple shark sightings close down local beaches temporarily

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 22, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. -  Four shark sightings closed down Norfolk beaches Thursday. The Division Head of Aquatics and Beaches said they cleared swimming areas at each Norfolk beach for sharks that came through and stuck around for a little while.

Sharks were spotted at Community Beach, Ocean View Beach and Sarah Constant Beach Park.

The spotting caused the Community Beach to close for about 30 minutes.

"I have a family out here and I don't want anything to happen to them. I've seen stories about people getting attacked, so I don't want anything to happen to them," said Angel Lowe, who was at the beach with her kids.

A city official said the shark was reported around 11:30 a.m. It appeared to be less than six feet long.

Dan Jones, who is the  Division Head of Aquatics and Beaches said four shark sightings in one day is highly unusual, adding they typically wouldn't be this many in one summer. However, he had ideas on why they were coming close.

"There are stingrays, there are flounder, other fish out there that might be a food source for the sharks," said Jones.

A school of dolphins was also in the water at Ocean View Beach, however, sharks were definitely there too.

Saturday, the founder of Ocearch, a nonprofit organization responsible for tagging and tracking sharks including Mary Lee and Katharine, will be at the Aquarium talking about shark science. The event will be at 6:30 p.m. and will be free, but seating is limited to the first 250 guests.

In May three sharks pinged off the coast of Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

Two of the sharks were great whites named Mary Lee and Katherine and a tiger shark named Weimar pinged nearby around the same time as Katherine.